2022 Winner

Royal Canadian Legion

Immortal Poppy

Wunderman Thompson

GoldTech Strategy

SilverBudget-Savvy Strategy

The Royal Canadian Legion has been selling lapel pin poppies as an act of Remembrance and as part of a fundraising campaign in support of Canadian veterans and their families since 1921.

Between November 5th and Remembrance Day on November 11th, Canadians honour the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of our Veterans. Overall, there is strong national support for Veterans’ week with 71% of Canadians saying it is very important that it’s held each year. However, these attitudes vary by generation. Canadians below the age of 45 are 25% less likely to agree that it’s very important to hold Veterans' week each year. Of those that are apathetic towards it, the primary reason is that they don’t feel that it’s “important to me personally”. This means that with each passing year, younger Canadians are becoming less attached to the idea of Veterans’ week and the act of remembrance.

To ensure that the act of remembrance never goes away, they set out to use the 100th anniversary
of the Poppy to create a meaningful bond with younger Canadians who don’t feel connected
to the sacrifices of veterans.

Each year on November 11th tens of millions of Canadians wear a poppy to mark Remembrance Day, but the connection to the sacrifice and significance of the 118,000 fallen soldiers each poppy represents is
being lost by younger Canadians.

They turned to the blockchain to create an unbreakable and unignorable connection between the symbol of the poppy and those Canadians who have sacrificed for the freedom we enjoy today. To achieve this, they created a series of 100 purchasable NFTs called “The Immortal Poppy”.

They chose NFTs not just due to their popularity and particular relevance to a younger audience, but because they have the unique ability to preserve important data through their encryption on the blockchain. This meant that they could immortalize the names of the 118,000 Canadian fallen soldiers forever. NFTs also allow for residual sales to go back to the maker with every sale and resale making them a potentially invaluable ongoing fundraising platform for the Legion.

To create a noteworthy and enduring piece of art they 3D-scanned real poppies plucked from the Belgian fields that inspired John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields”. They painstakingly digitally engraved the petals on each poppy with the names of all 118,000 fallen Canadian soldiers as well as immortalizing
them in a virtual cenotaph.

To make the Poppies more relatable to Canadians they highlighted ten notable soldiers from underrepresented communities including the first female Canadian combat soldier killed, the first Chinese-Canadian to die for our country, Indigenous Canadians who gave their lives, and a soldier who died by
suicide attributable to military service.

Leading up to their launch, they created social posts honouring each of these soldiers and the sacrifice they made. In doing so, they were able to connect and resonate with their specific communities on a deeper
level to inspire action and engagement.

They listed the Immortal Poppies to coincide with Remembrance Day on November 11th priced at 0.1111 Ethereum, an approximate value of $500 CAD for each Poppy. The NFTs also included a 10% royalty for every resale that would go to support the Legion in perpetuity.To date, the Immortal Poppy NFTs have generated over $40,000 in sales and resale royalties.

Despite a tiny media budget of less than $500, they’ve been able to generate 87 million earned impressions for the campaign. The news of the Immortal Poppies quickly spread and was featured on Bloomberg BNN, as well as national news outlets such as CTV, Financial Times, Toronto Star and Yahoo Finance. More importantly, they forever enshrined the names of every fallen soldier so future generations will never forget them.

The success of the campaign demonstrated the power of authentically engaging an audience on their terms amongst the communities they’re already part of versus just paying to reach them. This will continue to be an important part of their strategy as they work to ensure the act of Remembrance remains an important part of being a Canadian for generations to come.

Agency: Wunderman Thompson (Canada)
Chief Creative Officer: Ari Elkouby
Associate Creative Director: Angeline White
Associate Creative Director: Raj Gupta
3D Artist: Joacim Svedlund
Managing Director: Scott Miskie
Account Team: Mike Davidson, Shahana Zaib
Agency Producer: Jennifer Cotton
Strategy: Matt Ball, Barbara Jung
Production: Sauce Production
Editor: John Collucci
Technology Lead: Tim Voet
Developer: Kevin Tam
Audio Production: Pirate Radio
Audio Director: Chris Tait, Vanya Drakul
Colour Grading: Studio Feather
Photogrammetry: Arduinna Silva Studios

Client: Royal Canadian Legion
Clients: Freeman D. Chute, Dion Edmonds,
Jessica Kovar, Leah O’Neill, Nujma Bond

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.